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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Jeanne Jorgensen

Our Final Destination

It is June again and, finally, some warm weather after an abnormally long and cold winter. My husband, Richard, and I drive north through the city and into a countryside alive with woods of poplar, spruce, birch and willows.

excited Collie
every day now farm kids
drowning gophers

Land that is home to hayfields, wildflowers and birds. On our way, we stop, briefly, at Tudor Catholic Cemetery to visit my father's grave. Most of the bitterness is gone now after all these years. This tombstone marks the resting place of a very unhappy man, and surrounding him are those of his family as well as old neighbours and friends.

the Human Genome Project
now complete

Further north-west is our true destination: Mapova Lutheran Cemetery. The many Slovaks who came here to pioneer (drain and open up the land) now rest in this small place. My maternal grandparents, uncle and aunt are here as is my mother. My poor mother whose body and mind were slowly withered away for more than six years because of Lewy Body Disease.

with a lawn mower
every year holding back
the wilderness

When it is time, our ashes will either be tucked into my mom's grave or scattered in between the daisies and clover that grow wild everywhere. But who will come to cut the grass and clean the graves. Who will place new silk flowers at the head of our family's headstones? Right now, we don't know.

from aspen
to wildflowers
a lone butterfly